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DT 29711

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29711

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. I’m rather busy today, so no pictures or music, I’m afraid.

I found the puzzle reasonably straightforward, with only a couple of answers where I had to ponder the parsing.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           This writer, inspired by that virtually small river (6)
THAMES – THA(t) (from the clue, virtually) and Small, placed either side of a pronoun used to represent ‘this writer’.

5a           Murder drama in theatre that’s bad? (4,4)
FOUL PLAY – Another word for ‘bad’ or ‘rotten’, followed by a drama in the theatre.

9a           Student extremely anxious over labelling for vinaigrette, perhaps (5,8)
SALAD DRESSING – Start by putting together the usual letter indicating a learner or student and the outside letters (extremely) of AnxiouS. Then reverse the result and add another word for ‘labelling’ (a parcel, perhaps).

10a         Top pastry contains ultimate in Himalayan salt, according to chemist (8)
PINNACLE – The sort of pastry which may contain steak or apple is wrapped round the last letter (ultimate) of HimalayaN and the chemical formula for common salt.

11a         Quarrel at home making lunch (6)
TIFFIN – A quarrel followed by ‘at home’, giving us a word for a light meal in colonial India (which brings to mind Sid James in Carry on up the Khyber).

12a         Stars seen in outwardly grotesque car (6)
GEMINI – This constellation is made up of the outside letters of GrotesquE, and a famous make of small car.

14a         Acrobats in glasses? (8)
TUMBLERS – Double definition, the second being drinking glasses rather than seeing ones.

16a         Real ale enthusiasts rejected imbibing good North American brandy (8)
ARMAGNAC – Reverse (rejected) the acronym of the Campaign for Real Ale, then insert Good and an abbreviation for North America.

19a         Overheard old man that regularly lets off steam? (6)
GEYSER – A natural phenomenon which will be familiar to our Kiwi readers sounds like (overheard) a Cockney word for an old man.

21a         Hard work, many discovered, to produce advertising jingle (6)
SLOGAN – Another word for ‘hard work’ followed by the inside letters (dis-covered) of (m)AN(y).

23a         Rock musicians led away to find air transport (8)
ZEPPELIN – Remove the ‘Led’ from the name of a famous rock group, to get an early 20th-century means of air transport.

25a         Screen actress in minor role many condemned (7,6)
MARILYN MONROE – Anagram (condemned) of MINOR ROLE MANY.

26a         Wealth of old coins impressing university lecturer initially (8)
OPULENCE Old and some small change, wrapped round the initial letters of University Lecturer.

27a         Attention surrounds setter regularly in certain time of year (6)
EASTER – The body part you are said to have if someone is listening to you, wrapped round alternate letters (regularly) of SeTtEr, giving us a Spring festival.


2d           Unfriendly crowd that is gathering close to memorial (7)
HOSTILE – Another word for a crowd, followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ wrapped round the last letter of memoriaL.

3d           City rising in national importance (5)
MILAN – Hidden in reverse (rising) in the clue.

4d           Son finding refusing starter brings temptation (9)
SEDUCTION – An abbreviation for Son, followed by a word for a ‘finding’ or ‘conclusion’ minus its first letter (refusing starter).

5d           Fine rowing crew in good condition reportedly (7)
FORFEIT – This fine or penalty sounds like (reportedly) a phrase (4,3) which would describe a type of rowing crew who were in good condition

6d           Disconcert group of persons on horseback? (5)
UPSET – A word for ‘on horseback’ followed by a group of persons.

7d           Benefit completely will stop, in distressing fashion (9)
PAINFULLY – A phrase (2,4) meaning ‘completely’ is inserted into a type of monetary benefit.

8d           Comparatively cross when earring gets broken (7)
ANGRIER – Anagram (broken) of EARRING.

13d         First gun Laura shot, preceded by indecision originally (9)
INAUGURAL – The first letter of Indecision, followed by an anagram (shot) of GUN LAURA.

15d         Keeping quiet, explosive Egham individual that usually raises voice (9)
MEGAPHONE – Anagram (explosive) of EGHAM wrapped round the musical symbol for ‘quiet’, and followed by another word for an individual.

17d         Pickled herring to start followed by sponge (7)
ROLLMOP – Another word for ‘start’, perhaps involving wagons or film cameras, followed by another word for ‘sponge’ or ‘wipe up’.

18d         Painter, unknown character meeting queen after church (7)
CEZANNE – Put together the initials of the Church of England, an algebraic unknown, and the last Stuart queen of England, to get a French painter.

20d         Possibly malevolent look one vile Yemeni adopts (4,3)
EVIL EYE – Hidden in the clue.

22d         Stocking only occasionally goes over large leg (5)
NYLON – Alternate letters (occasionally) of oNlY, followed by Large, and another word for the leg side at cricket.

24d         Acquires finally valuable area for expansion purposes (5)
EARNS – The last letters (finally) of the last five words of the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun MOCKED + HURTLE = MOCK TURTLE

69 comments on “DT 29711

  1. I started off thinking this was pretty challenging but it seemed to get progressively easier. But still enjoyable.

  2. 2*/5*. What a brilliant run we have had with this week’s top drawer set of back-pagers, culminating in this splendid compilation clearly from the master of smooth surfaces.

    With so many ticks it is a real struggle to select a podium choice but, if you twist my arm, I’ll settle for 11a, 16a & 5d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  3. A most enjoyable puzzle with lots of ticks. The NW corner held me up for the longest time. COTD for me was 16a with 9a coming very close to being chosen.

    Many thanks to the setter for a great puzzle. Thanks to DT for the hints, which I will now look at.

  4. I enjoyed this crossword, it was good fun, with a sprinkling of more challenging clues (2*/4.5*). I likes the cleverly constructed 9a, 10a and 18a but COTD is 23a, which made me chuckle. I couldn’t quite get the parsing for 7d so thanks to DT for the hints and explanation. Thanks to the compiler for a really well clued puzzle.

  5. Just managed this rather tricky puzzle in ** time but only by writing in what seemed to be the obvious answer to several clues without fully understanding why (so thanks to Deep Threat for the hints afterwards) eg 6d, 7d, 24d and 27a. I thought 5d a great clue and so that is my COTD. Thanks to the setter.

  6. A friendly Friday puzzle where the answers came before the reason why in many cases. The chemical formula for salt didn’t occur to me in 10a so thanks for the hints with that one. **/*** I liked 18d and 23a but my favourite is 16a. Nicely put together. Thanks to all.

  7. A very gentle but entertaining end to the working week. Ticks aplenty but I’ve chosen to highlight 23a plus 4&5d for podium places. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter (I’ll go with Silvanus) and to DT, particularly for sparing us a clip of 23a.

    1. Well, 6 was a bit disappointed about the missing clip, Stephen. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

    2. There are plenty of good Led Zeppelin tunes. They were the most melodic and folky of the heavier bands. I always enjoyed the acoustic sets when I saw them live

      1. Totally agree MP, many many fine tunes, most of them unfortunately, completely ruined by Plant’s voice.

  8. Can some one explain the homophone for FORF “eight”? (5d). I am unsure as to the initial part. Many thanks.

      1. I got stuck on that one possibly because George always rowed in an eight and
        the four escaped me! Got there in the end.

            1. My mistake – this was meant to be a stand alone comment on today’s puzzle not part of the 5d exchange. Sorry everybody I seem to have well and truly messed up today! 🥵

  9. Agree with Bertie that this puzzle looked challenging but seemed to get progressively easier, anyway an excellent end to the week
    and a ***/**** for me,
    Top notch cluing, liked the surface of 16a and my favourite was last in 10a closely followed by 16a for originality.
    Found the Quickie difficult with 4d last in to give the clever pun.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

  10. A lovely puzzle for a Friday morning. Some terrific and inventive clues, with 16a leading the line up from 23a. Great stuff.

    My thanks and congratulations to Silvanus for a brilliant crossword, and to DT.

  11. Very unusually coming in early having done the puzzle sitting in a waiting room. Excellent crossword,
    too many good clues but 23a was funny and I liked the idea of MM being contained in a ‘minor role’! I am cringing
    at yesterday’s post – I was on a bit of a high all day and Jane is quite right, too many splits. Trouble is I have become
    defined by it and at least six people asked me to perform yesterday. I promise no more until I am 90 Deo Volente.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the busy DT, I don’t know how you hinters get it all done – amazing. The Quickie pun
    was funny, is that soup ever on the menu any more? Such good news that Kath is progressing but devastating news
    from Miami – the world is a dangerous place but you hope to be safe in your own home.

    1. What an awful disaster in Miami. Hope it hasnt affected any of our bloggers from Florida or their nearest and dearest.

      1. Terrible disaster, and sure to be many fatalities. So sad. Only person I know in the area is Merusa and thankfully I know she is safe and sound in her own house. When we were house hunting three years ago we started at looking at beachfront condos, but decided it wasn’t for us. Anyone currently living in one must now be feeling extremely concerned.

        1. Yup, I’m safe and sound and far enough away from the coast. I often look at the high-rise ads and wonder what it would be like to wake up to those lovely views, but I lack the stomach to live there. Even in a hotel, I get concerned who is smoking a cigarette in bed on a lower floor. No, I’m happy in my little house with pocket handkerchief garden.

          1. Glad to hear you are ok , Merusa and Busy Lizzie. It’s still very upsetting.

  12. As others have said, a slow start but gaining speed as the solve progressed. I had three clues not fully parsed, 9a, 7d & 24d. so thanks to DT for the explanations and to the setter.

  13. At first I found this somewhat impenetrable so I headed to the bottom of the Downs and went onwards and upwards from there – so often the change of approach breaches the defences quite swiftly.

    A very enjoyable and satisfying solve, for me the most challenging of the week’s backpagers. Some great clueing, good red herrings, subtle plays and forehead-striking “Doh!” moments. Plenty of clues for Hon. Mentions – 11a, 12a and 16a made me smile (the modern version of that car /is/ grotesque, and is there any such thing as good North American brandy?); 3a, 5a (I kept trying to include an 8-strong crew) and 18a. But my COTD goes to 23a – an inspired red herring, and gives me a soundtrack for the day.


    Many thanks to Setter and to DT.

  14. A most enjoyable end to the (non-)work week but not exactly a Friday challenge – 1.5*/5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 16a, and 5d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  15. Sorry this was supposed to be reply to Mustafa G at 13 above.
    Not sure about quality but grape brandy does exist in USA however I think they are more inclined to produce their versions of digestifs like Calvados and Slivovitz (apples and plums).

  16. Up there with yesterday’s excellent offering. Steady solve with a couple I knew were correct but couldn’t see why (10a & 5d) thanks DT for the enlightenment. **/*** time with **** entertainment.
    10a gets my COTD now I understand it!
    Thanks to setter & DT.
    Missed Kath’s late post last night – I can’t say how nice it was to hear from you again.

  17. A steady solve with some requiring DT’S hints to correctly parse. Thanks to him and the setter.

  18. I think RD is quite correct to lay this one at the door of the surface read supremo – always a pleasure to tackle one of his puzzl Took me a while to figure out 7d and had the same problem as DG when it came to 5d – we don’t get many ‘fours’ on the Menai Strait.
    Liked the rather different way of cluing 1a and have to say that I’m partial to the occasional 17d – in fact I had one for lunch today!
    So hard to isolate just a few for podium places but eventually settled for 5,12&21a plus 2&20d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the review.

  19. A lovely crossword to round up the weekday puzzles. Lots to enjoy here. Thanks to the setter and the busy Deep Threat. Who knew how busy retirement would be? Good luck with the weekends puzzles everyone. Play nicely for Tilsit and Senf and I will see you all on Monday

  20. Thank you, Silvanus: I got on with this very well, and surprisingly didn’t need Deep Threat’s hints (which I’m sure, though, are wonderful — and just knowing they are there if required gives the confidence to attempt the puzzle).

    My favourite was 10a for its saltiness.

    Current status: hoping the courier delivering spouse’s birthday present gets here before spouse returns from the dentist …

    1. Smylers if you come up to NN again, the easiest way not to use your car is to use the Coasthopper bus – it runs between Cromer and Hunstanton and is excellent. A word of warning though, it goes like a bat out of hell through our little lanes, usually getting stuck in Cley. I went to meet a friend for lunch and thought I would use my bus pass as there was little parking. As we hurtled along I thought I have travelled the whole world on various 3rd world forms of transport, hitch hiking, etc and I am going to die in the Coasthopper! Obviously I didn’t, die I mean.

      1. Thanks, Manders. We’re booked in again for August next year, so I’ll look into the bus.

      2. Excellent bus service, which has a ‘branch line’ to Fakenham via Walsingham which is where I was a few weeks ago. Wonderful part of the world, I envy those who live there.

  21. Like many others at first attempt i thought this was going to be a stinker and I could only manage the Italian lurker, on second visit the south fell into place and on the third visit managed the rest bar 5a for which I had ‘play dead’ until I succumbed to the hints, thanks DT. As it took the most teasing out my COTD IS 1a. Thanks to the setter

  22. Enjoyable puzzle. To solve this one, I found I needed to be steady and patient rather than my usual up-and-at-’em approach.

    I welcome all photos of Daisy undertaking her amazing athletic feats, even though it makes my eyes water at the thought of trying to emulate her.

    Regarding Led Zep – some mighty tunes and excitement in the early seventies, but I suspect the modern day Robert Plant would cringe at some of those lyrics.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Neil Young – Harvest

    Thanks to the setter and the busy DT.

  23. I actually found this the most difficult of the week and finished in *** time. It was the NW that held me up, in particular 1a. At the same time there were a couple that were so simple I thought they couldn’t be right. I shall now go back to trying to scan an 8 page document to email. For some reason it will not scan 2 of the pages and insists on repeating 2 other pages . Grrr. Anyway thanks to all.

  24. Good fun but over all too soon. Going for two co-favourites – 21a for the use of ‘discovered’ and 25a for the image of the late actress that filled my mind as I typed in the answer. Thanks to setter, DT and all fellow bloggers.

  25. Hello, all. Late today. After struggling with the Toughie late last night–and then getting stuck on 5d in the backpager; just couldn’t get ‘eight’ out of my head–I took a nap, which turned into a full night’s sleep. I finally succumbed to an electronic aid for 5d and still need the whole SW corner for the Toughie. Still, it’s been a great week for puzzles. My podium headlines 10a, 7d, and (just for the memories) 25a, whom I loved in Some Like It Hot and Niagara (surprised?). Thanks to DT and Silvanus. **** / ****

    Terrible tragedy down in Surfside, Florida–159 now unaccounted for.

  26. I struggled with this one, and like some others I solved some answers without the clues, 9a for example. I was happy that 11a sprang from the darkest corners of my brain, laughed at 14a. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.
    We continue to monitor the Surfside disaster. Latest news says building had sunk 12 mm between 1993 and 1999. It was built in 1981.

  27. What a nice way to end the week 😃 **/*** Favourites 23a & 17d 👍 Thanks to DT and to the Setter

  28. Many thanks to Deep Threat for his Hints and Tips and to all commenters.

    I’m pleased to see a number of different clues nominated as individual favourites and my best wishes to Kath on her continued recovery.

    See you all again soon, I hope!

    1. Thank you so much for calling in to see us, Silvanus, it’s always appreciated when setters take the time to acknowledge us!

    2. Thanks very much for popping in, Silvanus, and for giving us an excellent puzzle to enjoy.

    3. Thank you, Silvanus for the puzzle and for popping in to say hello. It is greatly appreciated.

  29. Found this one a bit of a struggle as found the clues not overly smooth in trying to work out the parsing. 3.5*/** for me today. No real favourites today but liked 14a 5d 17d & 20d 11a an unknown word for me, and lurker in 20a was well hidden.
    Just a puzzle that today really didn’t float my boat. Just me.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  30. So many have remarked on the difficulty unravelling the answers today! I decided early on just to bung in answers that had some relation to the clue and not bother to parse it. Like BusyLizzie, 9a was an example, I had no idea why it was right. Admittedly, this mode of solving did require some e-help. I liked 11a, one of my first in, that’s what my Dad called lunch!
    Thanks Silvanus, lots to like, and to DT for unravelling so much.

  31. The only thing I had to check was the lunch in 11a.
    Good laugh at 19a.
    Favourite 9a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  32. Like others I failed to parse a lot of my answers to this one. Also needed the hints for 5d which I doubt I would ever have solved and for 24d which I really should have seen.
    Curiously enjoyable is what I think is my summary .

    Thanks to DT and to Sylvanus.

  33. A splendid back pager to finish what for me has been a cracking week of crosswords.
    A slow start led to crops of answers coming together.
    Favs 7d &16ac… for more reasons than one.
    Many thanks to DT & to the setter for a Friday stunner.

  34. Thank you Silvanus for an enjoyable puzzle I was just held up with 5d so wanted to try and get eight in! Thanks also to DT for the hints. Have a lovely weekend everyone and still take good care.

  35. Only got 8 answers on first pass then worked my way up from the bottom wondering why I hadn’t got them first time round until I got to the NE. Specifically 5a, 5d and 7d. I wasn’t helped by putting in gainfully for 7d, well it fitted the first half of the clue, and I couldn’t get eight or oar out of my head for 5d. Eventually I twigged then 5a had to be what it was and 7d had the wrong first letter. Oh dear! Never mind I got there in the end. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to Silvanus and DT

  36. A very happy end to the week after Thursday’s killer of a crossword. COTD 23A

  37. Came to this very late in the day following a full day at work and then 9 holes of golf. Very happy to have managed to complete it before retiring for the night. Like others I thought it might be a stinker at first glance but turned into a steady solve. New word for me at 11a, and needed the hints to fully parse my LOI at 7d. Favourite was 10a for the use of NaCl, very clever.
    Thanks to all

  38. By far the easiest of the week for me, with only the SW corner putting up any real resistance….but all good fun

  39. Solved while watching Radiohead’s 97 Glastonbury headliner in the mud. We’ve certainly been spoilt this week – Donny, Ray T & now Silvanus making 3 belters in a row. Found this one straightforward to solve but trickier to parse the wordplay.
    Thanks all.

  40. This was difficult but doable with determination. Mr. Th had one inspiration and I needed help with two in order to finish. A lot of clever clues but 16a COTD , particularly as I needed help with it. I am even later than usual today due to the length of time it took to try and complete.
    Thanks to Silvanus for an enjoyable even though tricky puzzle,and to DT doing the hints even though busy.

  41. 3*/3*…..
    liked 20D “Possibly malevolent look one vile Yemeni adopts (4,3)” …. not that I have anything against Yemenis.

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